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Tuesday, 12 August 2014 13:53

Google funds underwater US-Japan FASTER cable Featured

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The FASTER cable route The FASTER cable route Supplied

Online mega-company Google will join six international telcos in building a new high-speed Internet Trans-Pacific cable system, dubbed ‘FASTER’, within two years.

Google has joined China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel, in backing the estimated US$300 million project that aims to boost Web speeds in Asia.

The cable will be built by Japan’s NEC and will feature the 6-fibre-pair cables and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60 Tbps (100 Gbps x 100 wavelengths x 6 fibre-pairs). ‘FASTER’ indeed.

Despite its fancy name the cable system more than a mere pipe dream. Construction is scheduled to start immediately, with a launch date projected for the second quarter of 2016.

FASTER will connect major US West Coast cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, with the Japanese coastal cities of Chikura and Shima.

The cable will benefit not only the US and Japan; many neighbouring cable systems will also be linked up.

“FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world,” FASTER executive committee chairman Woohyong Choi said in a statement.

“These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications.”

“The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world,” Choi said.

“The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle said the company is making this investment because its products can only be fast and reliable if there is “a great network infrastructure” to handle them.

“FASTER will make the Internet, well, faster – and more reliable for our users in Asia,” Hölzle said.

The company is fast building an impressive portfolio of projects designed to improve Web speed - its Google Fiber infrastructure project also aims to speed up Internet connectivity and is currently available in select US cities Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah.

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